Bell Aliant joins Bell Let's Talk campaign

Advertising campaign invites Atlantic Canadians to join the conversation about mental health at and show their support on February 9

HALIFAX, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Bell Aliant has joined Bell Canada in a national campaign designed to encourage conversations about mental health. The campaign features Olympian Clara Hughes, as spokesperson, and culminates on February 9 with Bell Let's Talk Day. On that day, for every text message sent and every long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, Bell will donate five cents to programs dedicated to mental health.

"Fighting stigma is critical to successfully changing Canadians' perceptions about mental illness and promoting mental health," said Ms. Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist and national spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk Day. "Most of the one in five Canadians who suffer, and their families too, are afraid to talk about the disease. That means they won't get the help they need. That has to change, and I'm proud to support Bell Let's Talk Day to get the conversation started."

A poll conducted by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) found that only 50 per cent of Canadians would tell a friend that a family member has a mental illness while 72 per cent would disclose a cancer diagnosis. Why? Because mental illness still carries with it a stigma, a sense that these diseases somehow should be hidden. People often react with fear and rejection when they hear of a diagnosis. The same CMA study found that almost half of Canadians (46 per cent) think the term "mental illness" is used as an excuse for bad behaviour.

"This campaign takes a direct approach to addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness," said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO of Bell Aliant. "Bell Let's Talk Day encourages conversations at home and in the workplace about the importance of mental health."

Bell Let's Talk Day

The first annual Bell Let's Talk Day takes place on February 9, 2011. For every text message sent and every long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers that day, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health. Regular long distance and text message charges apply.

The Bell Let's Talk online portal at enables Canadians to join the conversation directly by posting a smile of their own, while learning more about mental health resources, the Bell Mental Health Initiative and the ways we can begin our own conversations, including at home and in the workplace.

About Bell Aliant

Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP(TM) services. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience.


For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Bell Aliant: Mark Duggan,, 709-687-3136

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